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Q: What is a Person, Place, or Thing? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   11 Comments )
Subject: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Homework Help
Asked by: ytram100-ga
List Price: $2.50
Posted: 15 Dec 2004 20:34 PST
Expires: 14 Jan 2005 20:34 PST
Question ID: 443271
Is "DOOR" a person place or thing? In my opinion, a doorway would be a
place, and Door is a thing. My daughter has a teacher (who is a very
good teacher) who marked her answer wrong when she said door was a
thing. Is door a thing or a place? Thank you
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 15 Dec 2004 21:33 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

You are not crazy, a DOOR is a THING. I found proof for you. A lesson
plan where the word DOOR is used as an example of a THING.

O'Connell Middle School in Colorado
...has a lesson plan that just happens to include a DOOR as an example.


Scroll down a bit to the blue text:
..."Syntactical Definition
The most common definition of a noun is "person, place, or thing," and
many people would include the word "idea" to that list. Finding nouns
by this method is syntactical. For example, we  know that;
? Mr. Deeble is a person, 
? that Colorado is a place, 
? and that a door is a thing. 

Therefore, those words, by their definitions, are nouns (with the
first two being proper nouns). ..."

You can find lots of other interesting and easy to understand Grammer
Files written for the 7th grade here:

Index of /middle/oconnell/7x/languagearts/

Now might be a good time for the "not everyone is perfect, even your
teacher" talk...

Good Luck!

Search Terms used to find the above link:
"door is a thing" noun

Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 15 Dec 2004 21:34 PST
grammAr - sheesh!!

Clarification of Answer by cynthia-ga on 15 Dec 2004 22:13 PST
Thanks ytram100 for the 5 star rating and the generous tip!

The English language is full of clauses and exceptions, and there are
noun clauses that gfmaster comments below, that make something simple
much more complex.

I don't think your daughter's teacher was attempting to teach the
exceptions, but in the spirit of a giving a very complete Answer, here
is an interesting page that will leave you scratching your head:

Noun Clauses
Indeed, a door can be a place..., and other strange noun examples. 

ytram100-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
Thank you Cynthia. You were very helpful.

Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: leapinglizard-ga on 15 Dec 2004 20:47 PST
I agree: a door is a thing, while the doorway is the place. This
sounds like an awfully harebrained quiz, by the way. What on earth are
they teaching the youth?

Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 15 Dec 2004 20:59 PST
From Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary:

1 a : a movable piece of firm material or a structure supported
usually along one side and swinging on pivots or hinges, sliding along
a groove, rolling up and down, revolving as one of four leaves, or
folding like an accordion by means of which an opening may be closed
or kept open for passage into or out of a building, room, or other
covered enclosure or a car, airplane, elevator, or other vehicle"

That certainly sounds to me like a thing.
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: ytram100-ga on 15 Dec 2004 21:48 PST
Thank you all for your assistance!
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: gfmaster-ga on 15 Dec 2004 21:57 PST
A door can be a place or a thing so the answer given by your daughter
is correct but so is the teacher! As this comment isn?t likely to sit
to well with you I need to elaborate a little.

First of all after we are born (and even to a lessor but increasing
degree, from the time we are conceived) every experience is absorbed
by our brains and put into some type of order. The purpose of this is
so we may relate better with everything that is not ourselves. At
first it is an unconscious act inbuilt into our makeup, but overtime
(as the multiple experiences coagulate) the awareness of ?I? as an
individual is made.

From this point (and I?m talking of when a infant becomes a child)
conscious learning begins and acting in conjunction with our
subconscious, associations between our various experiences grow
expeditiously. The colour blue is recognised as a colour and is filed
away with other colours.

Formal conscious learning starts with a child learning from their
guardians and is soon supplemented by playmates, other individuals
encountered and then a school environment. Here our established
associations are directed in a manner acceptable by society, for want
of a better term, they are educated.

The teacher asks of a youth ?what is blue?? a colour or a thing. The
child answers a colour with the teacher shaking their head saying it
is a thing. The child questions this in themselves and feels sad that
they are wrong. They feel blue and a new association is made. Blue is
a colour and it is also a thing.

What it boils down to is ?context?. 

In time your daughter will question such an incomplete answer, as
given by her teacher and this is as it should be, always to question
something that is new or different from what we have experienced
before, all so we can incorporate it into our overall understanding of
existence. Until then it remains that a door can be a place or a thing
(place: go to the door; thing: open the door).

Kind regards,
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: probonopublico-ga on 15 Dec 2004 22:05 PST
Teachers do get things wrong.

Both my daughters learned to read, spell & count, etc, when very
young, before they went to school.

They were appalled to find that some of their teachers were less than
competent in such skills and the elder was aggrieved when one teacher
identified 'sentence', as a spelling mistake in an essay. Worse, she
was required to write out 'sentance' ten times, so that she would know
better in future.
And supposedly theirs was a 'good' school.
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: archae0pteryx-ga on 15 Dec 2004 22:48 PST
Besides, for the purposes of defining and illustrating nouns, it
doesn't matter which of the three it is as long as it falls into the
category that includes all three.  The word "happy," for instance,
does not belong in that category.  The word "door" does, regardless of
which subcategory qualifies it for inclusion.

Bryan, I spelled "experiment" with any extra e, "experiement," all the
way through fifth grade just to avoid confrontation with my teacher. 
As soon as I went on to the next year, I resumed spelling it the
normal way.  I guess I never thought to show her a dictionary.

Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 16 Dec 2004 03:36 PST
While I commend your daughter, I would like to suggest that it may be
best, for her sake, not to make an issue of this with the teacher.
Teachers are not always fair, and when proven wrong, they sometimes
punish a child who has embarrassed them.

When I was in third grade, I got into an argument with a teacher after
a test in which we were supposed to write down the opposites of
various words. One of the items on the test was "dog." My answer: "no
dog." The teacher's answer: "cat."

I didn't give up easily. I maintained that dog and cat may be
antagonists, but they are not opposites. Living beings don't really
have opposites. The only true opposite of dog is the absence of dog.

I think I unnerved the teacher by dragging a big word like
"antagonists" into the discussion. She sent me to the principal's
office for "smarting off," and I learned a valuable (if painful)
lesson: sometimes when you are right and an authority figure is wrong,
you need to keep your mouth shut.
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: cynthia-ga on 16 Dec 2004 03:58 PST
I agree with pink. You can choose to be RIGHT or you can choose to be
HAPPY, but it's seldom you can be both.

This reminds me of a funny story from my childhood... I learned how to
play "Oklahoma Gin" at age 3. This is how I learned to count:  Ace, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King.  I argued with the
teacher, insisting the numbers started with Ace, that my Dad said so. 
My teacher sent me home with a note for my Dad.  He busted up laughing
when he read the note, and was forced to tell me the sad truth of
counting, starting with One.

It was as bad as the day I was told there was no (ahhhh well, you
know, 5 letters, red suit, white beard), I can't say, wouldn't want to
spoil the fun...

~~Happy Holidays!!
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: probonopublico-ga on 16 Dec 2004 05:08 PST

You are a spoilsport!

You have said more than enough to ruin my Christmases for evermore.
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: probonopublico-ga on 16 Dec 2004 05:16 PST
I recall that when I was at school (this was a Grammar School no less)
our maths teacher - a Mr Cooney would you believe? - actually wasn't
very good at maths.

After I had corrected him in class countless times over the weeks, he
started asking me to vet his stuff before presenting it to the class.

After I had given him lots of lessons, he improved considerably.
Subject: Re: What is a Person, Place, or Thing?
From: pugwashjw-ga on 16 Dec 2004 13:02 PST
A door is a thing or item..The teacher is wrong!

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